Surveillance video shows end of takedown by trolley security

Roy Stanzione Jr. has filed lawsuit against MTS

SAN DIEGO - Surveillance video obtained by Team 10 shows part of a takedown by trolley security that the passenger says started when he could not find his pass.

The video is part of another lawsuit, alleging excessive force against trolley personnel.

In the video, a man in a cap is taken down, and kicked by plainclothes security officers. The man in the cap was Roy Stanzione Jr.

"I was in shock and in pain," he said.

Before the shock, that May day in 2012 was an ordinary day for the longtime trolley passenger.

He says he bought a day pass, went to an appointment and was riding back. The trolley stopped when a plainclothes security officer asked for his ticket.

Stanzione says he went through his briefcase but could not find it. He says the security officer got frustrated, escorted him off the trolled and pushed him slightly, causing him to stumble off down the steps and into another security officer. 

Stanzione says the man got upset and soon he noticed other officers around him.       

"At that time, it felt like I was a piece of meat in a lion's cage, and it started to feel uncomfortable," said Stanzione.

Moments later, he recalls saying, "This is BS" and told the officers to write him the citation so he could go.

As the citation was being written, he says he was taken down, kicked and punched.

"I remember hollering for help because I was kicked really hard in the ribs … they jumped on my lower back," said Stanzione.

He says he suffered a torn rotator cuff, a chronic back injury and bruised ribs.

Amid the pain, he says he heard giggling.

"They were literally hopping and jumping and laughing about it as they walked away," said Stanzione.

Stanzione has filed a lawsuit against the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and Universal Protection Service, the security company contracted by MTS.

"Their activities weren't for the public benefit. They were out having fun … the forced used was beyond excessive for the type of incident we're talking about," said Joseph Pastore, Stanzione's attorney.

In September, another released surveillance video showed another man being taken down by uniformed transit officers. MTS says his dog was being aggressive. The man, Christian Thompson, said he did nothing to justify the takedown and also plans legal action.

Stanzione says he filed suit to send a message to MTS.

"Any desire for me is to find a way for this not to happen to anyone else … ever," he said.

MTS declined to comment.

In a trolley incident report, officers say Stanzione cursed repeatedly and advanced toward an officer, which he denies.

Universal Protection Service issued this statement:

"We are aware of Mr. Stanzione's allegations, and our investigation is ongoing. We are unable to comment on active litigation, but are committed to this matter and to enforcing the policies and procedures of our clientele."

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